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Do you Gari? » Can you come out of the box, fellow Garifuna?
May 10, 2000

A while back, I posted a note on the Gari-Tech section, about
how cool hand-held devices are (save you from expanding those
inches long news papers while you traveling, while allowing
you to play your chess game :)).  I'm merely bringing
this up, since I discovered a treasure, this morning, as I
was checking the news on my hand-held.

It is no surprise to most of us, that at one point or another
(in our life), we have came in contact with the issue of fitting
in, to be accepted.  I personally, was not an exception
to that.  Most of the times I felt that the American
system, consumes your inner-being and converts you into something
you never thought of.  In my case, I became a little
more fearless, thinking that I could stand and fight anyone
that came across my path, including my own father.  Until
one day, when I came face-to-face with my pops.  Before
I knew it I was left intimidated by an incident that happened
that day (lion me could not deal with it :( ).

Then I realized that, there was something wrong with the system,
despite its great opportunities.  I learned that the
system can tell you how to act, but it fails to tell you who
you really are
.  Inevitably, in most cases, that
creates a new person in you, and at the same time makes you
lose your real identity.

For years, I watched some of my Garifuna people lose their
identity to other cultures, most of it attributed to the lack
or low self-esteem.  After realizing that, the culture
they lost their identity to, will never see them and respect
them (as the individuals within their native culture) for
being wannabe's, some of my brothers and sisters return to
the (Garifuna) culture, some others stay where they are, taking
the pain, for pity.

"The melting pot",
term used in the US to denote the "bunch" of individuals
that migrate to this land.  Many are starting to realize
that there is a lot more value, when one is seen as a complete
person, with culture, as opposed to being included as part
of the "bunch" which is analogous to "The melting
pot."  Given this, the question that we should all
ask ourselves is "Do I want to  be part of 'The
melting pot' or do I want to be an individual with culture?

Another point to notice here is, in theory, anything that
melts, eventually vanishes, on the other hand, a culture lasts
through generations if conserved properly.

Mr. Andres Cayetano points out that "it may seem
like we, the Garifuna people, have not done much, but given
that we only have about 203 years of history, in comparison
to other cultures, that have been around for a lot longer
than that, we have accomplished many good things." 
The struggle continues, of course.  We still have a long
way to go.  

For those of us that are still being taken over by the system,
remember that there is still hope, and that will come to you,
the minute  you find your true identity.  For those
brothers and sisters that have seen the light, I applaud you,
your work is being noticed..  The treasure comes from
an article from abcnews.com
titled "Not
Black or White
This article gives a brief
report about the census, which from what I understand, some
us identified ourselves as Garifuna. In a general sense the
article points the statistics as follows: "The options
resulted in 63 possible racial identities for non-Hispanics,
plus a separate category for Hispanics, bringing the total
of officially acknowledged racial categories in America to

So, do you gari?

//Jorge.Cacho - gk@garinet.com

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